I read a book on Advaita Vedanta named Drg-Drsya-Viveka a few months back.
It is one of the most clear and straight forward logical framework to present
Advaita Vedanta I have come across so far. The language is also very simple
and easy to understand. It presents the philosophy and also presents some
meditation exercises to internalize and realize the philosophy. Here are the
free translation of a few verses. These are based on the translation by
Swami Nikhilananda. There is a scanned version of a 1931 edition of the book
at http://www.vivekananda.net/ The authorship of the text is not known.

1. The form is perceived and the eye is its perceiver. The eye is perceived
and the mind is its perceiver. The mind is perceived and the Self is its
perceiver. The Self is not perceived by any other.

2. The forms (objects of vision) appear as various on account of distinctions
like blue, yellow, gross, subtle, short, long, etc. The eye, which sees them,
itself remains the same.

3. The eye has characteristics like blindness, sharpness, dullness, etc. The
mind is able to cognize these differences. This logic applies to ear, skin,
etc also.

4. Mind goes through states like desire, determination, doubt, belief,
non-belief, constancy, modesty, understanding, fear, sleep, dreaming, waking,
etc. These can be perceived by the Consciousness.

5. This Consciousness does neither rise nor set. It does not increase; nor
does it suffer decay. Being self-luminous, it illumines everything else
without any other aid.

Thus the real nature of the Jiva as Pure Consciousness (Atman) is proved.

Next the real nature of the Jagat is discussed. The experience of the world
is undeniable. Maya and Brahman are introduced.

13. Maya is defined as to have two powers – projecting and veiling. The
projecting power creates everything from the subtle body to the gross universe.

14. The manifestating of all names and forms in the entity which is
Existence-Consciousness-Bliss and which is the same as Brahman, like, the
foams etc. in the ocean, is known as creation.

15. The veiling power conceals the distinction between the perceiver and the
perceived objects, which are cognized within ourselves, as well as the
distinction between Brahman and the phenomenal universe which is perceived

20. Every entity has five characteristics – existence, cognizability,
attractiveness, form and name. The first three belong to Brahman. The next
two belong to the world.

Thus, in the absence of Maya, which manifests as name and form, the Atman
and Brahman are the same.

After this intellectual presentation, the book starts presenting various
mental exercises to go beyond name and form, and realize this Truth. The
summary of all the various techniques is this:

22. Having become indifferent to name and form, and being devoted to
Satchidananda, one should always practise concentration either within
the heart or outside.

A total of six techniques are given. The first three are on the inside as
three steps to understand the true nature of the Jiva. The next three are on
the outside as three steps to understand the true nature of the world. When
these six steps are followed, the identity of the Atman and Brahman will
become apparent.

After presenting all the techniques, the text gives some final clarifications.

33. Limitation is illusory, but that which appears to be limited is real.
The Jivahood (of the Self) is due to the superimposition of the illusory
attributes. But really it has the nature of Brahman.

Thus in a short span of 45 verses, the text gives a very clear theoretical
framework and meditations to realize the Truth.


About gokulmuthu

A student of Advaita Vedanta in the light of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramana Maharishi, etc.
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